Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't make that face

I was totally going to make fava bean hummus and roasted fennel just like you guys said, but the beets won out.

See, Bubba hates beets a lot. Says the same thing all other beet-haters say which is that they taste like dirt or some such nonsense while making a face.

Me, I love beets.

When I see beet salad on a menu it takes a lot of restraint to not squeal like a weirdo who just sat on a tack. And that's IF the menu item doesn't include goat cheese or the words "roasted" or "golden". Because if that's the case, all bets are off and I shriek like a ninny. Which I just realized is pretty weird because they're just beets and not, like, chocolate cupcakes laced with crack cocaine or anything, so I guess my tastes are evolving as I age or else I'm not addicted to smack.

You can make the call on that one.

Anyway, since Bubba was out of town and not in my kitchen to make the face when I pulled the beets out of the fridge, I decided it was time to make that recipe I've been fantasizing about and also time to drink the rest of the wine because it was going to go bad if I didn't get to it soon. And with only one of us in the house to drink it, I really needed to show some dedication already.

So last night my wine and I wandered into the kitchen to spend some QT with the beets. See, the roasting of beets (squeeeeeeeeeee!) takes some time, like an hour or something ridiculous, so while they were roasting, I got to go out to the garden and harvest up my first Just Picked From My Backyard salad, slice up the herby goat cheese and supah tart orange and put down glass of wine #1.

As you can imagine, it was about the best evening ever except for the fact that Bubba wasn't there to hang out with me and make gnarly (but funny, I admit it) comments about me picking things in my backyard and how you can really taste the goat and all that. Thankfully I had a bottle of wine to amuse me. After a while IT can make funny jokes, too, which, incidentally, are funnier the closer to the bottom of the bottle you get.

Once the timer went off (finally! gawd!) and the beets were roasty, it only took a few minutes to peel them, stack the stacks and have myself a fine meal. Of course, the stack keeled over before I could photograph it with the Just Picked From My Backyard salad, so instead you'll have to imagine this stack sitting really cute on the plate next to a salad made from the lettuce in the photo above, some CSA radishes, mustard greens and extra virgins.

And if you want to see how I destroyed another perfectly good recipe, my adaptations are below:

Beet Towers with Herbed Goat Cheese and Oranges
Adapted from Modern Beet's Beet Towers with Farmer's Cheese and Oranges

All the beets you want (I had 3), washed, greens removed
1 small orange of whatever variety (I found mine on a neighbor's tree)
~ 2-4 T. herby goat cheese
Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Wrap beets in a foil packet and roast for about 1 hour, or until beets are tender and can be easily pierced with a knife. Carefully open foil packets and allow to cool (this can be done up to a day in advance).

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and trim top of beet so that it is a flat surface. Place the beets on their sides and slice into 1/3 inch or so slices, keeping the slices in order.

Cut the bottom and top off the orange, then peel using a serrated knife to cut away the peel and all of the white pith. Cut the orange into thin slices — count the number of beet slices that you have, then cut that many orange slices, minus two.

Place the bottom slice of one beet on a plate or small cutting board. Take about 1-1.5 t. goat cheese and spread it evenly over beet slice. Top with orange slice. Sprinkle the layer with a small amount of pepper. Place the next beet slice on top of the orange, and repeat layering process — beet, cheese, orange, pepper — until you’ve used the whole beet. Repeat as many times as you need to in order to stack all your beets.


I think I'll get to that fennel tonight. And if there's more fava beans in the share this week, hummus will be here soon enough. You'll be glad to know, however, that I have taken care of The Wine Situation, so no need to worry about it, ahem, going bad in my house.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, PHEW.


  1. Good on ya for not wasting that wine. That would have been tragic. And, that recipe! Sounds divine. I picked my first salad tonight as well (will blog imminently) is it possible that we experience never-before-refrigerated green goodness on the same day when you have an orange growing on an actual tree next door? Your leaves are bigger and fuller than mine.

  2. ah, you always make me laugh!! i can't wait for my beets to grow up so I can try that recipe. I'm pretty sure John makes those same Bubba faces. I think that it must be a man thing.

    btw, how did you get all those words in above this comment section??

  3. I've never in my life tasted a beet, but you picture there makes me want to change all that. Looks delish!

    As for fennel, I meant to tell you before that it's really good shaved thin in a salad. I usually make one in the winter with butter lettuce, shaved fennel, and orange sections, and dress it with a vinaigrette made of white wine vin., a little honey, olive oil and black pepper. So nice. I keep meaning to try roasting fennel and topping it with parmesan, but I've never gotten around to it.

    Charge on, Veggie Mistress!

  4. that looks really good! i never tried beets until my neighbor had us over for dinner and roasted beets, and inions in olive oil, added toasted wallnuts and goat cheese. holy! i am addicted!

  5. Yay Beets! That tower looks fabulous -- I'll bet Bubba doesn't know what he's missing!

  6. lol. Love the title. I admit I'm not a beet fan. That being said, I was watching Diary of a Foodie last week (gourmet magazine) and this one chef in Paris took this huge beet and covered it in salt and baked it. When it came out of the oven, so soon after being pulled from the ground, the commentator said it tasted like cake.

  7. see? u like beets. i like oprah. see what it's like when someone trashes the things you like? lol


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